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In August, 2008, Coborn's, a pioneer in Minnesota's grocery industry, acquired SimonDelivers, Minnesota's first and best Internet-based grocery delivery service to form CobornsDelivers.com. This is our story.
CobornsDelivers.com combines the retailing expertise of one of Minnesota's oldest and most respected grocery retailers with the entrepreneurial spirit of an Internet-based grocery company that refused to give up the idea that grocery shopping could be a heckuva lot more convenient and waaay more fun.
SimonDelivers delivered its first grocery order in April, 1999, with the pledge "We deliver the store to your door!" The brainchild of a man named Simon Foster who was fed up with the inefficiencies of grocery stores, SimonDelivers.com harnessed the power of the Internet to bring over 10,000 grocery items to its customers' fingertips. Suddenly Twin Citians could get their grocery shopping done anywhere, anytime.
From its huge, state-of-the-art SuperStore in New Hope, Minnesota, SimonDelivers offered farm-fresh produce, restaurant-quality meats, fresh dairy and a full line of name brand grocery and household products plus a hand-picked selection of wine, beer and spirits direct to homes and businesses throughout the Twin Cities, all with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Meanwhile, just north of the Twin Cities…
Coborn's grocery stores were busy providing the Upper Midwest with fresh, top-quality groceries, tremendous value and exceptional customer service, just as they had for over 87 years.
Coborn's was born in 1921, when Chester Coborn opened a single produce market on Broadway Avenue in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. The store grew and evolved as Chester added dry goods, meat and other merchandise, along with modern conveniences like shopping carts and checkout lanes. A true pioneer in the grocery industry, Coborn's was the first grocery retailer in the state of Minnesota to utilize scanners at its checkouts, starting in 1972.
Recognizing the potential for what, at the time, was termed a warehouse or discount grocery store, Coborn's opened its first Cash Wise Foods store in Willmar, Minnesota, in 1979. Today Coborn's, Inc., owns and operates 34 Coborn's and Cash Wise Foods grocery stores in the upper Midwest, along with convenience, liquor, video stores and pharmacies. Coborn's also operates a central bakery, central dry cleaning facility, central commissary, long term care pharmacy and its own grocery distribution center. The employee-owned company currently employs 6,000 workers in six states.
Coborn's attributes its remarkable success to four guiding principles: customer service, freshness, value and community involvement. In addition to recognition as Minnesota's 2008 Grocer of The Year, the company has earned a reputation for outstanding community caring, donating more than $2 million and thousands of volunteer hours each year to the communities it serves.
Better prices. Better selection. Bigger smiles.
When high gas prices and cutbacks in consumer spending forced SimonDelivers to close its doors in July, 2008, Coborn's, Inc., saw an opportunity to expand their business beyond the traditional store-based shopping model. "With rising gas and grocery prices, shoppers can save a lot of time and money shopping online at CobornsDelivers.com," said Coborn's president and CEO, Chris Coborn. "Our goal is to provide Twin Cities area customers with the best online grocery experience in the country. That means exceptional customer service, top quality groceries and lower prices."
To former SimonDelivers customers, it meant bigger smiles.
About our SuperStore
CobornsDelivers, the Twin Cities' grocery delivery service, does not have a traditional retail store. Instead, we distribute groceries from a 190,000 sq. ft. SuperStore in New Hope. The SuperStore is like a gigantic warehouse, divided into 7 different temperature zones, including 4 separate coolers that keep different products at their optimum temperature to maintain freshness, plus a 20-degrees-below-zero freezer that keeps ice cream tasting as fresh as the day it was made. It takes a tough Minnesotan to work in there!
Processing your order
Each night, after our 11 p.m. ordering deadline, your totes begin to make their way through our SuperStore, and our hard-working team members work through the night to load your bags with packaged goods, dairy, meats and fresh produce, using a computerized tracking system and barcode scanners to ensure you get the right items in the right quantities. This process enables us to fill our orders at a 98+% accuracy rate.
JIT inventory for maximum freshness
CobornsDelivers' unique overnight operation allows us to utilize a Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory strategy to provide our customers with exceptionally fresh seafood. Shortly after our 11 p.m. ordering deadline, our JIT vendor, Morey's Seafood, receives their orders for tomorrow's deliveries. They fill the orders and deliver them to our SuperStore, "just in time" to get them on the trucks the next morning. You can't buy fresher seafood anywhere!
The close, vendor-direct relationships we also have with fresh produce and meat suppliers allow us to order in smaller quantities and more often, to keep our inventory of these items as fresh as can be!
Perishable items aside, our entire inventory turns over, on average, 25 times per year (that's twice as often as a traditional grocery store!) ensuring that our groceries are always fresher. Our fresh produce is never touched (or poked, squeezed, or sniffed) by other shoppers only the person who inspects it and puts it in your bag.
Our route-based delivery system is based on a hub-and-spoke model that allows us to service a geographic region covering 3,500 square miles within a 35-mile radius of our New Hope SuperStore. CobornsDelivers owns 60 bright yellow delivery trucks, which make 2 trips daily from our SuperStore, servicing 25-35 customers per trip.
About our award-winning website
Track your spending. Search for ingredients. Browse recipes. Get inspired then get it done. We even compile your previous shopping lists so you don't have to start from scratch next time. You can shop all at once, or shop throughout the week. Each time you log in your cart will be there waiting. You can see your total as you shop and add or remove items anytime to stay on budget.
We taste, inspect and rate our fresh produce (Good, Better or Best) every day so you know what's really delicious. You can see all of today's "Best" produce with one click from our home page. It's like having an expert pick your produce for you.
Did you know that if you have special dietary needs you can choose to see only those items that fit your nutritional goals, such as Low Carb or Low Sodium? Try doing that in any other grocery store!
Look for the little fork & spoon next to our products and click on them for recipe ideas! Or browse our Easy Eats section for hundreds of creative, simple recipes that use the season's freshest ingredients. Then put them all in your cart with one click.
Organic & All Natural
Our selection of organic & all-natural products is one of the healthiest around. If you know of a product you'd like us to carry, be sure to submit a Product Request Form.
You like to shop local. We do too. So we ask our favorite local restaurants, bakeries, businesses and farms to bring us their best. Then we bring it to you.
The Side Dish blog
Recipes, reviews, inside scoops, untold stories, and general fun from your favorite Twin Cities grocery delivery service, CobornsDelivers. And it's easily accessible from our home page.
Our green story
We shop local so you don't have to
We ask our favorite local restaurants, bakeries, businesses and farms to bring us their best. Then we bring it to you. And talk about an errand saver! Pet food, wine, fresh bread, organic produce at CobornsDelivers you can get all your errands done without driving all over town.
1 yellow truck serves 25-35 happy customers
Our yellow delivery trucks carry 25–35 orders each, which means that those 25-35 households or businesses are NOT making a trip to the grocery store that day. Since we've begun filling local cupboards, we estimate that we've saved the earth a net total of nearly 2 million gallons of gasoline.
Shorter distribution chain
Traditional grocery stores with dozens of locations use semi–trailer trucks to distribute their inventory, making frequent trips from a distribution center to each store to keep them all stocked with the same merchandise. While it's true that Coborn's grocery stores use semi-trailers, CobornsDelivers online grocery delivery service does not. We have one SuperStore which functions as a distribution center for the 3,500 square-mile area we service, eliminating the need for an awful lot of eighteen–wheelers.
One super SuperStore
There's no need for bright lights and fancy displays when low–energy lighting gets the job done and is actually better for the food.
We waste less food
Every grocery store has waste that needs to be discarded because of expiration, damage, etc. Because our online ordering and inventory tracking system allows us to move products in and out of our store more quickly, we only scrap about .6 of 1% of our inventory, versus the typical grocery store at 2–3%. That's a lot less wasted food.
Our totes are reusable (and recyclable)
Yes, they're plastic, but they are built to last and last they have. Our totes are used and reused every day, inspected each time they come into our facility for cleanliness and wear. When they finally give out we recycle them, diverting 5,000 lbs. of plastic out of landfills each year.
Our pallets are also reusable (and recyclable)
We use synthetic pallets, rather than wood to move large quantities of items around our SuperStore. Not only is synthetic safer for our employees, but you'd be surprised how many wooden pallets end up in landfills. Ours get recycled.
We don't use shrink wrap
If you've ever been in a warehouse you've probably seen those giant blocks of merchandise wrapped up with plastic being moved around on forklifts. Instead, we buy giant rubber bands to keep our pallet loads secure, which typically have a two year life span. There are no giant plastic balls leaving our facility for landfills.
We recycle our bags and cardboard
In fact, we recycle more than we throw away a total of 200 tons in 2007. If you send your bags back in our totes, we'll recycle them for you!
“Hi Coborns Delivers: First, let me just say that we LOVE love Love! Coborns Delivers. We have been huge fans and loyal customers ... ever since the beginning days of Simon, actually. We cried when Simon closed and danced a jig when you opened! You make our lives better, manageable, sane, workable, and just plain doable.” ~Carol B.
“Thank you for being the best in the grocery business! I had to go to Rainbow to get a gallon of milk and just for fun I jotted down some other items on my list to compare the prices. Some things were $.10 difference (no deal) and some things were a whole dollar different (big deal!). I also don't like going into the stores anymore because I know I am getting a fair, if not better deal than the other stores. And who else can beat your friendly service?! Thank you!!” ~Molly H.
“I really like Coborns. The delivery people are top notch, and you won't believe the quality of their fresh vegetables and fruit. Give them a try if you are in their service area-you won't be disappointed.” ~Dave R.
“I just wanted to say that this is only my second time ordering from Coborns. I am very excited at how easy it is, and the discounts I was offered. I feel like your business is very competitive to the grocery stores!” ~Kristen L.
“I am so happy with the overall customer service and quality Coborns Delivers has provided. From the website, to ordering, to the delivery people, to the customer service reps, and the quality of the fresh produce -- everything has been FANTASTIC! I also appreciate the deals sent via email - such great savings! I am a Mom with young kids and this is a life saver - especially in the winter. THANK YOU!!!” ~Kelly B.
“I am a home daycare provider and I love being able to have my groceries delivered during nap time! Just so darn convenient…and it leaves my evenings free to spend with my family!” ~Roxanne N.
“I just want to thank everyone at CobornsDelivers for the fabulous service you provide, the great eats and for just being there. I can't say enough good things about your service or your people!” ~Sandra F.
“I am a loyal Coborns Delivers customer. The people I talk to don't seem to believe that the pricing is awesome and it is unbelievable easy. Coborns is awesome. The delivery people are wonderful and pleasant. I always try to be home but now that it is so easy to get a tote pick up even that issue is no longer a deterrent to ordering. There is no down side.” ~Penny M.
“Thanks so much for your great services and professional people that work at CobornsDelivers. I recommend Coborns to everyone! When I see people on the bus carrying many bags home from grocery store, I say you should try CobornsDelivers! I have been there before and I know what it was like. Your service is a great help in my life. Thank you again.” ~Cindy B.
“I just love your company! Every order has been just as I ordered; your website is so easy to use! Today I saw your recipes and ordered some things from there too! How nice to be able to order while I'm looking at the recipe. I can't say enough about your company! Great delivery people and a fair delivery charge. You have taken Simon Delivers and much improved on a great idea! Keep up the great work.” ~Shelly N.
“I absolutely love this system!!! It is SO convenient, it helps my husband and I keep a budget, ensures that I don't buy things I already have and makes it possible to get food as it is hard to break away with a new born and my husband has no time to do it himself after work. This is seriously the best kept secret of 2011 for our family!” ~Breonna B.
“Thank you Coborns for the great service you provide. From the first delivery on everything has been seamless and trouble free. If I need to talk to someone with questions- they are always available and help me with troubleshooting. If it was not for you, Our Mother would not have the freedom to order her own groceries and be self sufficient with her grocery shopping. I place her order online and you deliver it to her apartment. Being able to use coupons is great also. Your delivery men are friendly and courteous with every delivery. Your meat and produce are always fresh and top notch. I have recommended you to neighbors, friends and patients at the Rehabilitation Center that I work at. I first became familiar with you when I shopped at your Sauk Rapids store- Our children live just blocks from your great store. I was happy to find that the same great things that you have in your store were available online. Keep up the great work!!” ~Bonnie F.
“I appreciate your friendly and helpful customer service. I order groceries every other week for my elderly parents and love the ease of online shopping; but I have had to contact your Customer Service reps a couple of times to sort out things like orders not going through and delivery times. Each and every time was a pleasant experience! Please let the folks who are working in that capacity what a great job they are doing!” ~Barb H.